Our Unlawful State Budget

Unlawful Budget

Friends of South Carolina!

Last year we had the largest budget in state history.

This year, judging by the Governor’s recommendations, we will again have the largest budget in state history… by a BILLION dollars more than last year’s record breaking budget.

It’s time to get our state budget under control!

Does it surprise you that the Legislature has not followed the law when creating our budget?

In fact, when several members of the legislature were asked, they didn’t even know about the law concerning how the budget is created.

Yes, you read that right!  The legislators didn’t know about the law that tells them how to create the budget.


It’s actually pretty simple, when you read the law.

In addition to being simple, it’s much more transparent than the current unlawful process that the General Assembly uses.

What is supposed to happen?

  1. By November 1st each agency shall give the governor an itemized budget request (SC Code 11-11-30)
  2. The governor is required to prepare and submit a detailed itemized budget to the Chairman of the Senate Finance committee and the Chairman of the House ways and means committee by the 5th day of session.   (SC Code 11-11-70)
  3. Within five days of receiving the Governor’s budget the Senate Finance committee and the House Ways and Means committee are required to begin joint open hearings on the budget.  Anyone who has an interest in the budget can testify. (SC Code 11-11-90)

That is far from what is done today.

Today, each chamber of the legislature holds its own small subcommittee hearings, the budget is not very detailed, and there are no joint open hearings at which anyone who is interested can testify.

In order to get our state budget under control, we must first get our budget process under control.

The Governor has submitted her budget.  The next step is for the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees to hold their joint and open hearings.

Contact Senate Finance chairman Hugh Leatherman and House Ways and Means Chairman Brian White today and politely, yet firmly, ask them when the joint and open hearings will start.

The South Carolina Policy Council has made contacting them both very easy. Simply follow this link and fill out the form with your name, county, and e-mail, and click send.

Or you can contact them directly

Hugh Leatherman:  (803) 212-6640; HughLeatherman@scsenate.gov

Brian White: (803) 734-3144; BrianWhite@schouse.gov

Be prepared!  They already have an excuse for why they are not following the law!

Here is the first excuse they will give you… it is a common evasion you will remember from our previous fight to require them to vote on the record.

Leatherman and White will tell you that this process outline by state law violates the state constitution.  It is simply not true!

The South Carolina constitution is very clear and succinct on this point.

Article 3 Section 15 states, “Bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives”.

The budget is not a bill for raising revenue! The budget documents how revenue will be spent.

The state constitution simply states that any bill that raises money for the state should originate in the House.  I agree!  And, if there are any tax-raising provisions in the budget bill, they should be struck out and moved to a stand-alone bill.

The budget process outlined by law does not violate the constitution.

So contact Leatherman and White today and ask them when the joint open hearing on the Governor’s budget will be held.  Don’t accept any “unconstitutional” excuses!

We must have the open and transparent budgeting process as described by law!

The Budget should no longer be created by the unlawful obscure process that has been used up till now.

Quick! Contact Brian White and Hugh Leatherman today. 

Their deadline for holding the hearings is Monday, January 23rd.

Insist that they follow the law!

After having the largest budget in state history last year, let’s make sure we get our budget under control!

Best regards,

Talbert Black, Jr.

P.S. If we are ever going to control our state’s spending, we must get our budget under control.  Today’s obscure and unlawful process for creating the budget must be corrected to follow the process outlined by state law.

State law defines a simple transparent budgeting process that requires joint open hearings on each section of the budget at which anyone can testify.  Contact Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brian White and insist that they follow the law.  Ask them when they will hold their joint open hearings on the budget.

Hugh Leatherman: (803) 212-6640; HughLeatherman@scsenate.gov

Brian White: (803) 734-3144; BrianWhite@schouse.gov


About Talbert Black

Talbert Black Jr is the founder of Palmetto Liberty PAC. His education in state politics & citizen lobbying began in 1999 with his membership in GrassRoots GunRights SC. In 2008 he joined the Campaign for Liberty and within a year he was the Interim State Coordinator for South Carolina. His goal for Palmetto Liberty PAC is to change to composition of South Carolina’s General Assembly so that it consistently supports conservative principles.

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